FO: Seathwaite for Tracy

I seem to knit this pattern once or twice a year at the beginning of a new year. This version has been in my mind for ages now.

The yarn is Malabrigo Rios and was just lovely to knit with. It loves cables and the colour is great. I knew though that the colour is not quite right for me and when my friend Tracy visited me last autumn and tried all my hats on she loved me Seathwaite that I made from Three Irish Girls yarn shown in this post.

So I promised her to make her one and a few months later here we are. 🙂 I hope it fits her and she likes it.

Not much to say about this pattern apart from that I love it. It is so clever and soothing to knit and the cables are really fun. I also still cannot decide if I prefer a tubular cast on or a folded brim finish in a hat. Time will tell I guess.

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Friday Favourite: Cables in a mustard yarn

Now this may sound a bit specific but my main colour inspiration in 2017 has been mustard with grey, mustard with black, hints of mustard throughout colour. Considering I do not like the condiment this is rather funny, don’t you think?

I have also found my love for cables, not just looking at them but biting the bullet and knitting them. And for me one of the knitted cable queens out there is Michele Wang. I have swooned over her jumper designs for a couple of years before biting the bullet and knitting some of the designs and love them.

For this Friday Favourite I am going to show you 2 of her designs in mustard yarn that I keep considering buying the suggested yarn for. The first one is this wrap. I have loved had this in my favourites since it was released I think.

The Holmes Wrap

I love the intricate cables in this design and the yarn sounds very luxurious. I have knitted with Yak before but not this brand so I would love to try it out some time soon. The yarn is mYak.

This yarn is spun in Italy from the soft undercoat of baby yaks, which is sourced directly from cooperatives of nomadic herders in Tibet.

mYak yarns are uniquely soft, warm, light weight, and strong.

The next item I want to share that I am dreaming of knitting is actually made using the exact same yarn and colourway. So I am not sure if I am just being a magpie towards mustard coloured Yak yarn. ha!

This is the Benedict Pullover. Is anyone else sensing a slight Sherlock theme here? Just me?

What I love about this design is how from the ribbing, there grow bigger cables, which spiral and twist into lines going up the jumper. I love those details, where if you follow the cables they flow through the whole design. I think I would make this with a tad less positive ease than is suggested.

Do you have a colour that you are attracted to and could just use over and over again?

Test Knitting the Caradon Hill Jumper

Having never considered myself a fast or really accomplished knitter I always shied away from opportunities to test knit something.

We once spoke about the act of test knitting at my local knit night. Some people who knit samples get paid for doing so, but is this a viable other income? Some designers will provide the yarn as payment. It just depends who and what it is I guess. I don’t have much experience. Also often a sample or test knit needs to be secret and I like taking my projects to knit night or out and about and want to be able to share what I am doing, so in short test knitting wasn’t really something I ever considered I’d be doing.

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But then Blacker Yarns came along and showed a line drawing of a cabled jumper, ideally knit in shetland yarn and you got to knit as much as you could in the given time and just had to give feedback on a regular basis and you were encouraged to share pics on instagram! I was in!

We got a discount code for the yarn for 20%. I have been meaning to try shetland yarn so I was more than happy with that and I love cables so knew this would be a nice project for me.

We were a small group of test knitters regularly posting in the dedicated revelry forum and sharing yarn choices and progress and also problem solving techniques when we found something we stumbled on in the pattern. Katie from Blacker yarns was also always on hand to guide us and answer questions and clarify anything.

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The whole process was rather enjoyable and I actually got to the yoke by the deadline. I did not quite finish in the 3-4 weeks but took a week longer which I think for an all over cabled design was pretty impressive.

To be honest this project made me feel more confident in my knitting ability and my ability to understand challenging patterns and make up my own mind how it could be written. I am no tech editor yet though, mind. One day maybe?
Fav bits of the pattern:

My favourite part of the pattern were the sleeves! Look at those cables all the way along. So interesting.

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I also liked finished the neck with elisabeth Zimmermann’s elastic bind off method. After attempting it on 3 socks I finally understood how to do it and how it looks nice. 🙂

What I learned:

My favourite new stitch discovery was the broken rib, mostly seen on the underside of the sleeve. Really nice and interesting effect.

I also learned how to fix a cable even if you only notice 6-8 rows later. It was a bit fiddly but do-able.

Another discovery I made was that I can knit in the car! Yay! I was worried I’d feel travel sick but I was fine.

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Here my finished details pre blocking:

  • Size made: 38
  • Yoke depth – 23 cms
  • Body length – 30 cms (note I did shorten this by emitting one repeat, so I am happy)
  • Body circumference – 98 cm
  • Arm length – 48 cms
  • Cuff – 22cm
  • Neck circumference – 45cm

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Here my finished details post blocking:

  • Size made: 38
  • Yoke depth – 26 cms
  • Body length – 45 cms
  • Body circumference – 105cms
  • Arm length – 51 cms
  • Cuff – 22cm
  • Neck circumference – 46.5cm

 

Mods I’d make:

If I hadn’t test knitted the project I would have made a couple of changes. The back would be plain for one. I may have also played with attempting to knit the pattern top down instead which I much prefer.

I’d also try knitting the sleeves flat 2 at a time and then seam them.

Also the yoke is a tad deep for my liking but actually great for wearing a jersey jumper underneath.
In summary though I loved knitting this project and the interaction with everyone. My day job is all about usability  and making things better for user of software so this was a nice way to combine my hobby of knitting with some of the skills I have gained from my work. 🙂

My Ravelry page.

 

 

Jumper-along – Ondawa

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My lovely little local yarn shop YAK held a jumper-along for the last 10 weeks or so. The idea is that you are in a small group with a teacher and each pick out a jumper pattern. The fact you have a teacher guiding you, means you can choose a challenging pattern and then get advice on yarn choices and swatching.

When I thought of what I wanted to learn it was all about seaming. I have never knitted anything flat before. Well actually I had knitted a sleeve flat before and tried to seam it with mixed results.

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Another thing I was fascinated with was a cropped jumper and all over cable patterns. So I decided on Ondawa. This pattern is basically 4 rectangles that get seamed up into a boxy sweater.

The way the jumper along worked was great. It is over 10 weeks and you meet 5 times in this period for 2 hours on a Sunday. I will really miss the get together with the group, although most of us will still see each other at the local knit night I am sure.

I learned so much during this knit along because we each had different patterns. Things I got to experience and learn were:

  1. Seaming
  2. Modding
  3. Three needle bind off
  4. Reading charts and knitting from them
  5. Importance of swatching
  6. Steeking techniques
  7. Cables and colour work!
  8. General inspiration for other patterns in the future

I actually finished my jumper and we have another get together Sunday in a week, so I will continue with another one.

The mods I did were:

Arms:

  • Knit third size in sleeves
  • Knit 2 inches more of pattern repeat of sleeves

Body:

  • Knitted smallest size
  • Knit the front piece about an inch longer than pattern
  • Kept front and back stitches live piece for three needle bind off. ( I did wrong sides together creating a ridge which I kinda like)
  • Back piece will be mostly twisted rib but keeping the cable from the triangle in the bottom ribbing as I’ve seen in another post.
  • Back piece 2 inches longer for hi-low hem

Some pics of my finished jumper below and more on my Ravelry.

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Cozy Cable Cowl by Purl Soho

I have just finished my second version of the Cozy cable Cowl from Purl Soho. The pattern is free and I highly recommend it if you ever wanted to try knitting cables. It uses a bulky yarn and the instructions are really easy to follow.

Cozy Cable Cowl in Madelinetosh Home

I remember buying this yarn online and loving the colour way and then being blown away by it when I had knitted it up. Photos of course do not do it justice.

 

The finished item was a lot more drapey than tI re one made with the suggested yarn from Purl Soho. But I loved it. It was a super fast make, and I could knit it while commuting and then wore it on my commute during which I eventually lost it. I even filed for lost and found but never got a reply. Sigh.

This happened before I went on a trip to New York, where I made it my mission to go to Purl Soho. Once I was in the shop I fell in love with the squishy Feltro yarn and bought enough to make myself a replacement cowl.

 

Cozy Cable Cowl in Feltro

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This again was a joy to knit with and came together super quickly. You are kind of getting into the cables and then it is all over and you are binding off. Using this yarn created a lot more squishy fabric that held its shape and sits on the neck. It is currently drying from its soak so I do not have pictures wearing it.

I highly recommend this pattern, it comes together fast and you could make it as a gift for christmas still. It is also awesome for trying out cables as the chunky yarn makes it non fiddly and you see the results really quickly.

Question: Have you made a replacement item after losing or damaging the original?

 

 

Seathwaite

I promise there will be more variety than just knitting posts about hat patterns.

This hat however is my absolute favourite that I have knitted this year. It is Seathwaite and I discovered it during the fringe association hat alongs. These are super fun and you can join in now if you need some hat knitting inspiration, want to try some new skills, or need some ideas for cool presents.

Seathwaite, like the other hat along patterns, is free. The pattern uses a provisional cast on, using the crochet method and then creates a folded brim. This has been my hat knitting discovery of 2016, because a folded brim fits my small head so much better than a normal long tail cast on. I also love the squishyness it creates. If you have never done a folded brim before or provisional cast on using the crochet method, the pattern is great as it has links to helpful  tutorials.

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When I knitted this hat I had not made a hat with cables before. I loved the process. It can be daunting but cable knitting is extremely simple. At least the few cables I have knitted so far had simple cable patterns. On a side note I ordered this book “Knitted Cable Sourcebook” and cannot wait to try and swatch some of the more complicated cables.

Seathwaite is best suited for a yarn that is a mostly a solid colour. The cables can get lost otherwise and they are so pretty it would be a shame to hide them.

Version 1: using Rowan creative focus worsted

This yarn has a bit of fuzz to it, similar to the sample version. It was a dream to knit with and the cables came out really nicely. The hat can however be a tiny bit itchy in this yarn, especially if you do not have much hair or thin hair.

I added a bobble to this version. I actually had to make the bobble twice as the first time around I did not make it tight enough so it unravelled eventually.

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Version 2: using Three Irish girls springvale DK

This yarn was special to me mainly because my best friends Katja suggested it to me and I found a colour way called winter birch. My childhood was filled with silver birches and they are my favourite tree so I saw this as a sign to get the yarn.

The yarn is merino so a bit softer than the Rowan yarn. I was worried it wouldn’t hold the cable shape as much and used a smaller needle size to get a tighter gauge. I also just realise d that the yarn is DK but the pattern calls for worsted weight yarn. I would suggest doing a swatch if you happen to be more observant than me before you basically change the whole pattern suggestions. I was lucky it worked out.

The hat fits perfectly and the speckles are subtle enough to not distract from the cables, in my opinion.

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Question: Do you have a favourite hat pattern for solid colour yarn? What about for speckled or variegated yarn?

Bray Cap

 

Knitting Bray Cap

In September of 2015 I started to commute to London on a regular basis for work, which means I spend around 3 hours on average in a train. I often spend this time reading for work or finishing documents but also started knitting, especially hats as they are small and portable and often the patterns are easy enough remember to knit.

One of those projects was Brooklyn tweed’s Bray Cap.

I would describe myself as an advanced but fearless beginner when it comes to knitting. So this hat was a challenge for me the first time round. I had not done any sort of lace knitting and only basic cable knitting before this.

Version 1: Bray Cap in Malabrigo Rios

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The first version I made, I used a dark blue Malabrigo Rios yarn that I bought in Brighton from YAK. I followed the instructions (or tried to), but did not do the tubular cast on. I am yet to try the tubular cast on to be fair. What I did was use the provisional cast on as described here and made a folded brim. I have a small head so a folded brim tends to fit me better.

As you can see I did the first big horseshoe cable wrong but I loved the effect so much and then felt really stupid when I looked at other finished hats.

The yarn was great to work with and had a nice shimmer to it. I had a brief shock moment when I realised that the hat was unravelling from the top but using a crochet hook I managed to fix it.

Here I am wearing the hat in Iceland in July this year.

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Version 2: Bray Cap in The Uncommon Thread Lush WorstedIMG_7040_small2

This second version is actually flawless knitting wise which is the first time ever this has happened to me. I normally miscount at some point. But After nearly 2 years of frequent knitting I am starting to be able to read the knitted fabric as I go along and it is really helped me to make sure I am not messing the pattern up as I go.

This version I knitted using smaller needles for the brim than the pattern suggests, for a closer fit. I also added a pom pom and used up every single bit of my skein in the process which is a nice feeling too.

The yarn I used was The Uncommon Thread in lush worsted which I bought at Loop London. The colour way is a Loop shop exclusive if I remember correctly. I love the The Uncommon Thread yarns a lot. They are very nice to knit with and make some lovely cables.

The only issue I had was that when I blocked this hat, it became massive. So I made the hat a bit damp again and briefly chucked it into the dryer. This made it go back to a perfect size.

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It was nerve wrecking, chucking something into the dryer but so worth it. I have worn this hat exclusively for a week now.

Question: Have you ever saved your knitting by chucking it in the dryer?